Assault Shell

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Assault shell title image.png

Developer: Team Overloaded & Tyler Howard (Someguy009)
Music: A2B
Release date: August 28 2020 (itch.io), March 19 2021 (STEAM).

Assault Shell (アサルトシェル) is a shmup by Team Overloaded and Tyler Howard (Someguy009) made in GameMaker Studio. It is inspired in CAVE shmups and Crimzon Clover for the Break inspired system called Stands.

For replay videos, visit the Video Index.

Gameplay Overview

The player has the normal attack attack and focus laser attack. The game does not have bombs, but the player is equipped with an SP weapon capable of cancelling bullets. SP charge can reach up to 2 levels. Destroying enemies will increase the multiplier. Collecting blue crystal items will fill up the Stand gauge. The stands are Hyper and Blank. When activating Hyper Stand, the firepower increases, and the multiplier increases. If Stand gauge is full when on Hyper Stand, the Blank Stand will be ready for activation. Blank Stand increases firepower and multiplier even further, in exchange of making enemy patterns more agressive. When a shield bar is lost, it can recover slowly. They can also be recovered by defeating midbosses and bosses.

Controls

  • A (Press): Shot
  • A (Hold): Focus laser
  • B: SP attack
  • C: Stand activation
  • D: Full-auto shot

Scoring

Scoring consists of a multiplier, which increases when destroying enemies. On normal state, multipliers are 1x, 2x, 4x, 32x and 64x. On Hyper Stand state, 128x multiplier is added. On Blank Stand state, multiplier can reach up to x256. When defeating midbosses and bosses, the remaining time will multiply the score value from the defeated boss. If the player manages to No-Miss an entire stage, a No-Miss bonus is awarded.

Modes

  • Original Single: A game mode that has only the first loop.
  • Original Full: A mode that has both loops. 2nd loop disables continiues and introduces suicide bullets.
  • Light: A modified version of Original Single, in which SP weapon recharges fast and shield recoveries take a little less time.
  • Void Arrange: A special version of the game that has a rank system, power-up carriers that release Shot and Focus power-ups, and a new Void Stand, which increases firepower and multiplier reaches up to 512x. It also features a playable version of Sigma exclusive to this mode.

Ships and Psycho Frames

PF-201A Alpha

PF-201A Alpha (アルファ)
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Frame: Vian (ヴィアン)
Shot type: Narrow

PF-204B Beta

PF-204B Beta (ベータ)
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Frame: Alice (アリス)
Shot type: Wide

PF-202G Gamma

PF-202G Gamma (ガンマ)
AS-SuzyGamma.png

Frame: Suzy (スージー)
Shot type: Homing

PF-203D Delta

PF-203D Delta (デルタ)

Frame: Etia (エティア)
Shot type: Follow

PF-205SX Sigma

PF-205SX Sigma (シグマ)

Frame: Suzy? (スージー?)
Shot type: Variable

Upon clearing a stage, the player can interact with the Psycho Frame by choosing different speech options.

SP weapons

Each SP weapon has it´s own properties and attacking methods.

AS-Alpha1WIS.gif

Wide Interception Shot: Launches widespread bullets that detonate upon impact and also have rebound properties.

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Frontal Blocking Bullet: Launches a penetrating bullet that leaves a trail of small explosions. Lvl.1 charge is short ranged, while lvl.2 charge is long ranged.

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Burst Defense Shot: Releases a spread of beam shots.

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Random Cancel Array: Releases round beams that can penetrate, and when they fade, they get slightly big.

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Frontal Defensive Option: Releases options that can block bullets and at the same time fire until they explode. They also explode if they´re hit too much. Lvl.1 charge releases 2 options, while lvl.2 charge releases 4 options.

AS-Gamma2RGO.gif

Rolling Guardian Option: Summons options that can block bullets and fire while rotating around the ship until they expire. Lvl.1 charge releases 2 options, while lvl.2 charge releases 4 options.

AS-Delta1HES.gif

High Energy Sword: Releases limited-range slashes that deal big damage and can penetrate. Lvl.1 charge is just 1 slash, while lvl.2 charge does 3 slashes.

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Counter Matrix Shield: Releases a shield boomerang that can reflect back bullets. It´s direction can be aimed left and right. The distance of the shield boomerang that can be launched depends on the level charge.

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High Temperature Flamethrower: Fires penetrating flames and can be tilted. It´s range depends of the level charge fired.

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Offensive Lancer option: Releases drill that can penetrate. When it touches a big enemy, it will slowly pierce until it´s gone off an enemy. Lvl.1 charge releases 2 small drills, while lvl.2 releases a huge drill.

Rank (Void Arrange)

Rank system is exclusive to Void Arrange mode. It increases when collecting items in Blank Stand or Void Stand. It decreases when taking damage or when Blank Stand is not used yet to collect medals. When rank is at a high level, some patterns will get buffed and suicide bullets will start to come out.

Items

Blue crystal: These blue crystals appear when destroying enemies and cancelling bullets.
Yellow crystal: These yellow crystals appear when cancelling bullets with the SP attack in Blank Stand. In Void Arrange, the yellow crystals fill up the Void Stand gauge.
Platinum crystal: These yellow crystals appear when cancelling bullets with the SP attack in Void Stand (Void Arrange only).
Gold medal: Appears when activating Hyper Stand with bullets around, destroying enemies or cancelling bullets in Blank Stand. In Void Arrange, gold medals fill the Void Stand gauge
Platinum medal: Appears when destroying enemies or cancelling bullets in Void Stand (Void Arrange only).
Extend: Appears when all grey panels of the Stage 3 Midboss are destroyed before destroying it`s core.

True Last Boss / TLB

In order to fight Sigma (the TLB) in Original Full, the player must 1cc 1st loop and survive the whole 2nd loop until defeating the Stage 2-5 Boss. To fight it in Original Single, Light and Void Arrange, the player must 1cc until defeating the Stage 5 Boss. An important thing to know is that upon reaching this boss, continiues are disabled. Sigma´s last attack emits insta-kill beam walls.

Story

Amber Black, a military faction based in the Asian Continent, has their influence all across the southern hemisphere, and has begun taking over other private military companies and factions. However, their rival JOKER will not stand for this. After a gap in their jumpgate defensive system due to the Enemy Black operation, JOKER begins their mission to take down Amber Black once and for all.

It`s story is also somehow linked to Shift Roar (a shmup which is currently a demo).

Database

  • Prolouge:
Amber Black, a military faction based on the Asian continent has their influence all across the hemisphere, and has begun taking over other private military companies and 
factions. However, we, JOKER, will not stand for this.
After a gap in their jump gate defensive system due to the success of the "Enemy Black" operation, we will now take action in order to take down Amber Black once and for all.
Take to the skies, Joker unit no. 233487, and destroy Amber Black`s ambition.


  • The world now:
After the failure of a lard worldwide coup d`etat conducted by most of the world`s militaries, The Earth Peackeeping Initiative rolled out the Military Disposal Order 198 NE (New 
Era). This split the military from the goverment as a whole and instead issued a new way of handling the military power
This would be the Faction system, which allowed PMC`s from around the world to obtain military power so that the corrup goverment won`t conduct another activity similar to the 
coup. This would in turn create an era of constant war and coflict, known as the Faction era, and would become the darkest times in Earth`s history.


  • JOKER:
JOKER is a private military company originated in northen Japan, and eventually increased their influence troughout the country. Thanks to the Military Dispersal Order, they 
would begin to expand into different independent nations and eventually into western America.
JOKER`s focus was on weaponizing the mind, and pursued to unlock the brain`s true potential. In order to do this, they bribed a large number of ordinary individuals to join 
their ranks. They would either serve as test subjects for their weapons program, or serve as cannon fodder depending on their IQ.
After losing multiple allies due to Amber Black`s actions, JOKER`s funding began to dwindle, and couldn`t afford to bribe any more units. So, in order to save money, they 
resorted to the same strategy that Amber Black used in the past, kidnapping and brainwashing.


  • Amber Black:
Amber Black is one of, if not the richest factions in the world. Their influence is extremely massive, and has absorbed about 13 other factions in it`s ever growing empire. 
Amber Black`s leaders are some of the wealthiest of the world, and they use the faction to not only destroy competition and conduct illegal activities, but gain large amounts of 
wealth in the process.
In the events of Operation Enemy Black, Black Corporation, which is Amber Black`s main resource in money and labor, was destroyed by 3 psychic criminals that they 
unintentionally created. Now that Black Corporation is no more, Amber Black`s defenses are extremely weakened, giving JOKER a chance to take it down.


  • Operation Enemy Black:
Black Corporation experimented with mind control in order to increase productivity and ultimately, to increase profits. Black Corporation kindapped 62 individuals, but only 3 
survived, and unfortunately for Black Corporation, those 3 individuals were given psychic powers and turned against the corporation by becoming criminals.
JOKER saw this opportunity, and offered the criminals a chance to destroy Black Corporation, and allow their freedom as well. JOKER built 3 fighter crafts named Psyrunners for 
the criminals to pilot. The 3 sortied and combining their psychic powers to the Psyrunner`s system, they demolished Black Corporation`s headquarters. Out of the 3 criminals, 
only 2 survived the fight.


  • Psycho Frames:
Psycho Frames are Beta type frames, being half human, half robot. They`re the source of energy that powers the Hyper Stand and Blank Stand that is activated in the game, and 
they achieve that trough their head devices, which controls psychotic energy known as Psycon.
All Psycho Frames have a special energy source that is different from Infitanium, and is rumored to assist in the Psycon concentration process. Though the source is unkwnown to  
most, the true origin of the energy source is known by high ranked scientists and of course, the high command. Even though onlt 4 were created, multiple pilots are assigned to 
one.
Due to the concentration of the Psycon, the Psycho Frames will lose their sanity at times, usually involving in the death of either their pilot or other units in the area. Even 
though the frames kill pilots and other units, JOKER pays no mind to it. They see the units as disposable anyway, and blame their deaths on not being able to cooperate with the 
frames.


  • Vian, aka the dragon:
Vian is the first of the 4 Psycho Frames assigned to an Assault Shell. She`s blunt and stubborn, and will ridicule the pilot if they perform poorly. Many JOKER units complained 
about her attitude, but that only made her do it more out of spite. She can even snap at ther frames, mostly at Etia.
Vian is also dangerous as well. If a pilot causes her to lose her temper, she uses her claw-like fingers to tear apart their organs, and of course, killing them in the process.  
Throwing water in her face has proven to prevent her from killing the pilot, though it doesn`t stop her childlike tantrums. Be aware that she does hold grudge against others. 
Vian believes that this mission to take down Amber Black will be an easy one due to her strength, so she wants to get it over with.


  • Alice, aka the maid:
Alice is the youngest of the Psycho Frames built, and it shows due to her kind and soft nature. She gets along well with other pilots, especially with the beginners. She takes 
care of her craft, and makes sure the pilot can fly comfortably. She loves being around with other frames, and is seen mostly with Suzy.
Problem is, she can kills pilots as well. If a pilot gets too perverted with her, she snaps, and will sometimes resort to eating parts of the pilots body out of pleasure. This  
is where Alice`s other side is seen. Best thing to do is to not get too frisky with her if you value your own life. You may get lucky if she likes you enough, but don`t expect 
to get out unscathed.
Alice Believes that defeating Amber Black will make the world a better place, and wants to work towards that ideal.


  • Suzy, aka the golem:
Suzy is the 2nd Psycho Frame to be assigned an Assault Shell. Suzy is partially blind, based on bandages around her eyes, but she can still move and interact with objects like 
normal, and can also cook really well, with the help of Alice. She`s mostly emotionless, and is known to be blunt to others. Pilots complain that she pushes them too hard in 
order to achieve maximum efficiency.
Like the others, she has the ability to kill pilots. If she gets too scared, she stars to panic, and starts to punch her surroundings, and if the pilot is unlucky, she could 
punch trough their body and deal a fatal blow. The best way to survive this is to hug her before she starts swinging. Suzy will calm down, and sometimes fall asleep due to 
exhaustion.
Suzy`s motives are simple. She wants to get the job done, nothing more, nothing less. Just a frame that`s just following orders.


  • Etia, aka the knight:
Etia is the 3rd of the Psycho Frames to be assigned to an Assault Shell. She`s very shy and timid, and most of the time her anxiety gets the best of her. She also ahs an 
eyepatch, for reasons unknown. She sometimes hides from other people, and when caught, she uses her sword to keep others away from her. Etia is also clumsy, and can mess things 
up a lot. But, even though she`s shy, she excels in combat.
She, as well, can murder pilots. If she gets too excited, she could end up ripping the heads clean off pilots bodies, or even worse, use her sword to go on a killing spree, 
going full psycho. Luckily, she can be feeded with candy to supress her lethal excitement, and if that`s not enough, use a tranquilizer, a heavy one.
Etia`s motives are mysterious. Pilots have reported saying that she wants power, raw power, while in combat, so her ideal could be like to that.
  • Commander Rafflesia:
Ifrit "Rafflesia" Joker is the supreme commander of JOKER. Her origins are unkown, people know that she build her large private military company from the ground up.  A conspiracy 
is going around that Ifrit was involved with the grand coup from years ago, but there was little evidence, and was shutdown by her legal team.
Even though she`s in charge in torturing other minds on experimenting them, she retains her full sanity, even if her views are extreme. She acts in a calm but strict manner, and  
will punish anyone who does not follow her will. Ifrit believes that she`s doing god`s work, and pushes toward her ideal of perfecting the human mind.
  • Psycho Frame origins:
From the leaking pages of high ranking scientists, it explains that the secret energy source within the Psycho Frames is a core that tortures the sould within it. What`s even 
more shocking is that the souls within this core aren`t even the souls of the Psycho Frames.
Essentially, they kidnapped and killed 8 subjects, stole the soul of 4 and forced them into the other bodies who had their soul released. They would then augment those bodies 
and reanimeate them, turning them into a type of homoculi. These are the Psycho Frames that help control the Assault Shells. Data on the 4 souls is listed here:
-Vian: Originally named Emily Wilson aged 23 and worked as a professional hockey player. She was known to have a large temper on the stadium, and broke out in fights constantly.        
Emily was an expert. She was kidnapped after a late night party, and was abducted while she was drunk.
-Alice: Originally named Maria Lewis, aged 19 and was a 2nd year student at college. Maria was a beloved member of the college she attended to. She was not only an honor 
student, but a cheerleader for the football team. She was kidnapped while taking a jog on a nature trail, and showed the least amount of resistance.
-Suzy: Originally named Tracy Johnson, aged 26 and worked at a local restaurant. Cooking was her passion, so she attended to the culinary school and specized in healthy dishes. 
Tracy was even recognized by professionals by her field. At night, she was kidnapped while she was getting ready for bed, and showed the most resistance in the process.
-Etia: Originally named May, aged 18 and was a homeless woman living in poverty. May would take up in oddjobs to fund her and her younger brother`s survival. One day she was 
attacked by another homeless person and lost her eye defending herself. She was kidnapped while she and her brother were sleeping. Her brother was not harmed in the process.
  • Epilogue:
Joker will begin their final phase of their grand scheme, to bend the world to their will. Even though the prototype containing most of the combat data of the previous Assault 
Shells was destroyed, JOKER had enough research data and resources seized from Amber Black to build a massive army. They have already taken control of Asia and they`re now 
moving on to take over Europe.
However, a rebel group of JOKER scientists, as well members of assimilated factions joined forces with a faction known as the "Frontlancers". The Frontlancers challenged JOKER 
and is now determined to end their reign over the land. With their newly formed military force, another battle to determine the fate of the world will begin soon...

Differences between early build and final release

  • The HUD was different.
  • No VO announcer.
  • The Stand timer alert still beeps when Blank is being triggered with 30 or less seconds of Hyper Stand.
  • "SC" for score was originally "P1". The highscore count wasn`t not introduced yet.
  • SP weapon only had 1 level.
  • A-1`s SP weapon didn`t have rebound properties(?)
  • Type-D`s focus shot was very different, in which the ship fired two piercing shots.
  • Somme bullet patterns were different.
  • Some designs are different.

References & Contributors

Contributors:

  1. Images, SP weapons footages provided byJSAV2006STG(ABC)

Trivia

  • The Stand system is inspired by Crimzon Clover.
  • The Reaper (the Stage 4 Boss) is a reference to Black Heart from Battle Garegga.
  • The commander of JOKER, Ifrit "Rafflesia" Joker has a similar appearance to Schwarlitz Longhener (from DoDonPachi 1997) and Godwin Longhener (from DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu)
  • The final attack of Sigma (TLB) is a shameless reference to Celestia´s Magma Diving attack from eXceed 3rd JADE PENETRATE Black Package.